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Barnsley Civic Sparks Artistic Inspiration in Wombwell

Barnsley Civic proudly continues its year-long partnership with Netherwood Academy and other community engagement projects taking place in Wombwell.

In September, we installed an exhibition in the school’s art department, featuring no less than 15 local and national visual artists!

As part of the Year 10 topic, Macro Nature, one of those artists, Louise Ann Wright, paid a visit to the GCSE students to share journey through art education, her experiences of building a career in art, to discuss her artistic process and influences.

Louise was invited to take part in the project by Barnsley Civic’s Community Engagement Manager Jason White.

Jason explains, “I have known Louise for over fifteen years and have followed her journey from when I met her while she was studying a Fine Art Foundation Course at Barnsley College. In 2017, I invited Louise to exhibit at Barnsley Civic and saw first hand at how good she was at engaging young people in art workshops. I knew she was a perfect fit for the project.”

Louise is a Barnsley based printmaker and painter, fascinated by spreading organic structures such as lichen, fungi and mould. She is known for her paintings and prints of petri dishes, some of which are exhibited in Netherwood school. Sustainability is also important to Wright, both in the art she produces and the materials she uses. In 2020, she began making her own art materials, including watercolour paints, made out of natural earth and botanical pigments. Sustainability and the impact that artists can have on their environment, was another topic explored with the GCSE cohort.

Following her talk with students, Louise set the class a live brief inspired by her work, in which students had to build their own mini-sketchbooks and create their own abstract works, using the same materials as she does, including watercolours, fine-liners and goldleaf. Louise and Jason were on hand to give the students advice and encouragement.

Some of the work produced in their workshop, will go on to be exhibited in a community exhibition in Wombwell, in Summer 2024.

Over the next year, other artists invited to take part in live discussions with the school’s art students include Barnsley street photographer Sean O’Connell and nationally renowned Pop Photorealist Sarah Graham – an artist who has been referenced in recent GCSE art exam papers.

To find out more about our partnership with Netherwood Academy, click here.



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